Vaz committee to meet for first time since newspaper sex claims

Home affairs select committee due to meet on Tuesday as Labour MP said to be considering whether to stand aside

The parliamentary committee chaired by Keith Vaz is due to meet on Tuesday for the first time since a newspaper reported that the Labour MP had paid for the services of male prostitutes, although it remains unclear whether he will lead the session.

The home affairs select committee is due to question the immigration minister, Robert Goodwill, from 3.30pm. When the story initially broke, Vaz said he would stand aside as chair, but a later statement made no mention of this.

On Monday, Theresa May increased the pressure on Vaz by calling for MPs to maintain the public’s confidence or consider their positions.

Speaking at the G20 summit in China, the prime minister said: “What has been clear throughout my political career and what is important for people is that they feel they are able to have confidence in their politicians, and that is what we have a duty to apply for those who elect us.

“What Keith does is for Keith and any decisions he wishes to make are for him. But overall what people want is confidence in their politicians.”

She spoke out after the Sunday Mirror reported that Vaz had paid for the services of male prostitutes and had asked one of them to bring along poppers, a sex-enhancing drug that the government came close to banning in a law passed this year.

Vaz has apologised to his family but condemned the tactics of the newspaper reporters.

On Monday, he returned to the House of Commons chamber to take part in questions to the home secretary, Amber Rudd. He welcomed her to her role and asked about terror suspects who had fled Britain to join Islamic State while on police bail. He made no mention of the newspaper reports.

Vaz is said to be still considering whether to stand down permanently or temporarily from his committee role. It is investigating prostitution and has often produced reports on legal and illegal recreational drugs.

The MP for Leicester East could face investigation by the commissioner for standards over the claims in the Sunday Mirror. It was alleged that he met eastern European male sex workers in a flat he owns in north London. According to the paper, Vaz asked one of the men in a text message sent before the encounter to bring poppers.

Vaz has argued in parliament that poppers should not be included in a list of substances banned by the Psychoactive Substances Act, and in the paper he is quoted as telling the escorts that he did not use them himself.

Vaz reportedly told the men his name was Jim and that he was a washing machine salesman. He is quoted discussing with the men the possibility of obtaining cocaine for the next time they met, although Vaz reportedly said he would not want to take the drug himself.

Following claims by Vaz’s friends that the MP may have been drugged during the sting, the Daily Mirror released new details on Monday night of the alleged encounter, which the paper claims was the second meeting between Vaz and the two male sex workers. It included a transcript of Vaz allegedly ordering them to take up sexual positions. The Mirror claims it is proof that he was in control of the situation.


Rajeev Syal, Rowena Mason and Peter Walker

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Tories face questions over support of Keith Vaz committee appointment
About 150 Conservative MPs voted for Vaz, who stood down as chair of home affairs committee in September over escort claims, to join justice committee

Rowena Mason and Rajeev Syal

02, Nov, 2016 @12:36 AM

Article image
Keith Vaz set to quit as chair of home affairs select committee
Labour MP expected to step down from parliamentary committee after tabloid claims that he paid for male prostitutes

Rajeev Syal and Peter Walker

06, Sep, 2016 @8:01 AM

Article image
Labour big guns line up to replace Keith Vaz on home affairs committee
Former frontbenchers Chuka Umunna, Caroline Flint and Yvette Cooper to stand for election following MP’s resignation

Jessica Elgot Political reporter

08, Sep, 2016 @9:41 AM

Boris Johnson asked to answer claims that he 'misled' Commons committee

The Commons home affairs committee chair has asked the London Mayor to answer allegations that he 'misled' the committee over young offenders

Dave Hill

25, Oct, 2011 @1:18 PM

Article image
Tom Watson to face select committee over pursuit of Leon Brittan
Deputy Labour leader to be questioned by home affairs select committee over why he asked police to reopen rape investigation against late Tory peer

Rajeev Syal

13, Oct, 2015 @4:45 PM

Vaz faces damaging new claims
Former Foreign Office Minister Keith Vaz faces potentially damaging new claims that he may have received a payment from a rich businessman who is wanted for questioning in France over his alleged role in a multi-million pound corruption scandal.

Antony Barnett and Martin Bright

23, Dec, 2001 @2:29 AM

Article image
Should Keith Vaz step down as home affairs committee chair? | The panel
The Labour MP has been accused of paying for the services of male prostitutes. Should this affect his role in policy on the sex trade? Our panel give their verdict

Paris Lees, Peter Tatchell, Julie Bindel, Margaret Corvid and Joan Smith

05, Sep, 2016 @1:47 PM

Article image
Rising energy bills worse for people in north because of cold, business secretary says – as it happened
Kwasi Kwarteng concedes people in north would be hit hardest by rising fuel prices due to weather conditions

Andrew Sparrow

23, Sep, 2021 @4:21 PM

Article image
Keith Vaz: police close investigation into drug allegations
Scotland Yard confirms Labour MP will not face charges over claim that he offered to buy cocaine for two male escorts

Jamie Grierson

16, Dec, 2016 @12:42 PM

Article image
MPs set to investigate far right in wake of Jo Cox killing
Home affairs select committee chair Keith Vaz says rise of rightwing ‘extremism needs to be studied and acted on’

Vikram Dodd

21, Jun, 2016 @6:00 AM